Buckinghamshire is a “ceremonial and non-metropolitan” primarily residential county in South East England. The region is best known for its spectacular open countryside and ever-present natural beauty. The town of Aylesbury is the largest ceremonial town in the county.
The Buckinghamshire County Council administers governmental responsibilities for the county which is divided into four districts; Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe. The Borough of Milton Keynes is an independent authority that cooperates with the county on many functions but is not under the auspices of the Buckinghamshire County Council. Milton Keynes is the largest ceremonial town in the borough while High Wycombe is the largest town in the non-metro county.
The sections of the county that are closer to London help to comprise the Metropolitan Green Belt where commercial development is limited. This area serves as home to Dorney Lake, or the Eton College Rowing Centre, which hosted the memorable 2012 Summer Olympic rowing events. The privately owned lake was developed by the college and opened in 2006. The lake can be used for special events such as canoeing, dragon boating, rowing, and triathlon training.
Buckinghamshire’s outstanding natural attractions include the Chiltern Hills Area of Natural Beauty, the renowned Stowe Landscape Gardens outside Buckingham and the River Thames. These areas are perennial tourist havens as well as areas where nationals frequent.
For hikers, the Ridgeway Path is a long-distance footpath that crosses the county. Tourists also enjoy the properties maintained by the National Trust, such as Waddesdon Manor, West Wycombe Park and Cliveden. There are many private estates in the county, including the Prime Minister’s country retreat, Chequers. There are also many beautiful villages dotted around the Bucks countryside; if you’d like to try a location off the beaten tourist-track, try Brill (home to a wonderful pub called The Pointer), or any of the smaller villages/towns (many have great pubs and restaurants to grab a delicious lunch or dinner).
One of the most appealing and popular country houses is known as The Abbey, Aston Abbots. The Abbey is now a country home in Buckinghamshire whose name was derived from the St. Albans Abbey. The home was owned by the Dormer family from the dissolution of monasteries until the 19th century. The exact age of the residence is unknown but it is usually described as being in the same location since Doomsday. The home was owned by Captain Harold Morton and his wife Beatrice until their passing in 1989. The grounds of the Abbey feature a lake with two islands which are named for two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror. They Abbey has a storied past.
Another unforgettable residence is Winslow Hall, located in the centre of the small town of Winslow. The Hall was originally constructed in 1700. Winslow Hall is still surrounded by 22 acres of gardens. It is widely believed that Sir Christopher Wren was the architect of the property, which was designed to be used by the gentry.
Another popular attraction of Buckinghamshire is The Cowper and Newton Museum, opened in 1900. The Museum is a red-brick Georgian colonial and is prominently situated on the corner Market Pace in Olney. The museum also sports glorious gardens. Noted poet William Cowper resided here from 1768 until 1786. Olney’s history is contained in various rooms of the museum. John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace, was the clergyman in Olney and was a good friend of Cowper’s.
For sport, Buckinghamshire shares the Silverstone Circuit with neighboring Northamptonshire. The Adams Park stadium is situated in the southern tier of the county.
Buchinghamshire makes for beautiful drives, great walks and of course lots of entertaining and informative conversations with the congenial locals. Some of the country’s oldest and finest pubs are located in this quiet county. As visitors to Buckinghamshire quickly realise, the undeniable allure of the area is accented by the historic estates and gardens but it is the people that make this area unforgettable.